noun (1)
\ ˈswag How to pronounce swag (audio) \

Definition of swag

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 informal
a : goods acquired by unlawful means : booty, loot … the swag from this and other forms of graft was kept hidden …— Frederick Lewis Allen … a pirate's spectral wife, who has roamed the harbor ever since she was left behind to guard his swag.— Katharine Whittemore
b : valuable articles or goods One of the premier spots in the area to land home-bar swag is Pub Stuff in Stafford. The store is packed with everything … for homeowners looking to make their bar stand out.— Matt Pais
c : promotional goods or items … Ravens gear was selling better than O's swag. I bought one of the cartoon-bird caps …— David Simon
d : goods given to people who attend or participate in an event Her handbags … one year were a part of the swag celebrities brought home from the Screen Actors Guild Awards.— Karen Martin
e : money, lucre … affirmed that he is now bonded to pay up to $5,000 to any listener who may lose out on swag being offered by another network.— Saul Carson
2a : a decorative strip or chain hanging in a curve between two points : festoon … transverse swags of carmine floral design and top crown frieze …— James Joyce
b : a suspended cluster of something (such as evergreen branches) Garlands of green, with roses interspersed, were in swags and loops about the splendid walls …— E. Barrington
3 : a slow movement back and forth : sway sense 1 … a shudder took the whole structure of the vessel and my body on the bed, too, and the Kentucky Queen yawed to the deep inner swag of the river.— Robert Penn Warren
4 chiefly Australia : a pack of personal belongings … I'd be the last to strike my tent and sling my swag.— Ambrose Bierce


noun (2)

Definition of swag (Entry 2 of 3)

US slang
: bold or brash self-confidence : swagger, cockiness His theory: "If you want the world to change, you must be the change you want in the world … . It's good to have swag but better to have substance."— Briana Barner On Sunday, hometown faves Derrick Carter and Jamila Woods tear up the Blue stage while Beyonce's little sister, Solange, brings her grown woman swag as the headliner on the Green stage.— Mary L. Dratcher Lewis spoke of "a breezy self confidence," known perhaps today as swag— Anton Allahar I'm not just talking about his cheesy one-liners and the smirk that sometimes comes with them—the way he delivers that line is pure swag.— LaToya Ferguson


swagged; swagging

Definition of swag (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to adorn with swags
2 : to arrange (something, such as drapery) in swags

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Synonyms for swag

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of swag in a Sentence

Noun (1) The robbers divided the swag. robbed a bank and hid the swag under the floorboards Verb the days of endless worrying had taken their toll, and the old woman's face swagged with exhaustion
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The walls, adorned with every kind of Browns swag, are painted orange with brown and white stripes. William Hall, cleveland, "In memory of Bryan Loberg, who stoked Canadian passion for the Cleveland Browns into a roaring club," 3 May 2021 So if male basketball players are getting $2000 laptops and other educational swag, the female basketball players must get them too. Evan Gerstmann, Forbes, "Would Paying College Athletes Help Or Hurt Female Athletes?," 5 Apr. 2021 The Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru, which runs Thursdays through Sundays through Jan. 24 (and on Monday, Jan. 18), also features photo ops, add-on activities, toys and cool swag. Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur, NOLA.com, "Drive-thru dinosaur experience conjures up Jurassic Park at a local convention center," 12 Jan. 2021 While there are prizes consisting of Masters swag, no cash is on the line so the primary motivation for fielding a team and taking on friends in a private league is pride and bragging rights. Mike Dojc, Forbes, "New Fantasy Feature Ups The Ante On The Masters Digital Experience," 5 Apr. 2021 Each package is available when reserving tables of four to six and come with St. Patrick’s Day swag. Holly Baumbach, chicagotribune.com, "22 St. Patrick’s Day specials in Chicago, from corned beef ramen to Irish coffee takeout kits," 13 Mar. 2021 On a smaller scale, a colorful swag draped over a single window can also make a bright statement. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "4 Fundamental Tips for Choosing the Best Kitchen Window Treatments," 19 Mar. 2021 Periwinkle Place is a one-stop shop for tons of Sanibel swag, from the tropical decor at Island Style Galleries to the quirky gifts at Trader Rick's. Marisa Spyker, Southern Living, "Florida's Hidden Treasure: Explore the Natural Wonders of Sanibel Island," 9 Mar. 2021 Participants may opt out of receiving swag to increase their donation. courant.com, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those watching the race at home, or at the track, can scan the code and win prizes such as tickets to future races or swag such as T-shirts, hats, floor mats, racing flags, and koozies. Greg Engle, Forbes, "Nascar Driver Kevin Harvick’s Ford Will Sport ‘Fastest QR Code Ever Developed’ At Richmond," 17 Apr. 2021 Then head over to Rival, the award-winning boutique hotel has a retro Art Deco swag that’s inviting and super chic. Essence, "Get Lost: 72 Hours in Stockholm," 11 June 2020 From major labels to local designers, her style (shout out her stylist Scot Louie) and swag behind each look are impeccable. Check out our favorite looks from Ryan Destiny below. Maiya Carmichael, Essence, "Ryan Destiny Has The Chicest Throwback Style," 8 Aug. 2019 The two-bedroom suite is further swagged out with robes, pillows, towels, and eye masks in Hästens's trademark blue and white checkered pattern. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "This NYC Hotel Now Offers a Room with a $200,000 Mattress," 13 Dec. 2019 Business is all about the packaging, and the enormous stacks of sharply illustrated shipping boxes for all that swag sent a clear and strong message. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Go inside Santa Saban’s NFL swag boxes," 24 Sep. 2019 The 100-year-old maroon velvet rope still swags alongside the curving stairs. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. were guests in $2.1M Detroit mansion," 10 July 2019 Souvenirs from his time include a fortune worth of silk window treatments — draped, swagged, fringed, puddled or ballooned — that reach past 20 feet tall in the living room. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.35M Bloomfield Hills home comes with 2 kitchens and a tree house," 29 June 2019 In Rossa, Buren’s stripes wrap the soft edges of the building, the two patterns of color meeting in a swagging line around the middle. Shonquis Moreno, Curbed, "‘If you take out the art, the building itself can’t stand’," 6 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of swag

Noun (1)

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun (2)

2003, in the meaning defined above


1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for swag

Noun (2)

short for swagger entry 2


perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian svagga to sway, rock; akin to Middle Low German swacken to rock

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Statistics for swag

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swag. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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